Library Renovation: A New Look for the Grinds and Bridge

Students waiting in line at the newly changed cafe. The Grinds began serving We Proudly Serve Starbucks officially on Jan. 16, the first day of the spring semester (Photo by Rhiannon Slotnick).

On Dec. 1, the Office of Student Development sent out an email that said the Grinds would change from Zingerman’s Coffee to We Proudly Serve Starbucks. 

Zingerman’s is a local Ann Arbor brand, while Starbucks has “become a part of the fabric of tens of thousands of neighborhoods all around the world,” according to their website. 

Victoria Gross, Metz Operations Manager, said that a lot of thought was put into making this change. She added that because Zingerman’s wasn’t as widely known by students, Metz sent out surveys to get positive feedback on what new brand to bring in.  

“We had a lot of feedback that students would really enjoy Starbucks, so that was a starting point,” Gross said.

Next to The Grinds, a student sits in the newly converted seating area. Previously, coolers with cold food items and snack racks were located here (Photo by Rhiannon Slotnick).

Before the official opening on Tuesday, the cafe had a soft launch on Jan. 11 for students and staff. Gross said that the launch went over well and she expects the trend to continue. 

She said that within the first few hours on Tuesday, they had at least 40% more in business than Zingerman’s did in a day. She added that since the grand opening, Metz staff has noticed more foot traffic. If customers don’t want to wait in line, the cafe now offers a Grubhub option. 

Lincoln Park sophomore Susanna Doss said that she loves Starbucks and gets it as much as she can when she is home.  

“I like that they have Starbucks now,” Doss said. “I did like Zingerman’s though, it’s going to be a little bit of a change because I used to get it every morning.”

The Grinds wasn’t the only aspect of the library that received a change. The renovation of the library bridge started on Nov. 13 with the installation of new carpeting. 

The Director of the Library, Jill Marie Mason, said the process started in the spring semester of 2023 when giving a tour to the donor. 

On Nov. 10 Marie Mason sent out an email letting students and staff know that “The Library Bridge would be closed for carpet installation as a part of a renovation project made possible by a generous donation.”   

Renovators working in the closed area of the library bridge. Last semester, improvements to the bridge connecting Stockwell and Mudd began, with the changes being finished over winter break (Photo by Bonnie Lord).

Renovators working in the closed area of the library bridge. Last semester, improvements to the bridge connecting Stockwell and Mudd began, with the changes being finished over winter break (Photo by Bonnie Lord).

When she asked students for feedback on how the bridge could be changed, Marie Mason said the most common answer was that students liked things the way they were. The staff in turn did their best to keep the familiar setting while also making new additions.

“We tried to just keep true to what was there furniture-wise,” Marie Mason said. “We didn’t really change the amount of seating and kept it so that there was a variety of group and individual seating.”

Over winter break, the library replaced the tables and chairs and added purple LED lights above the existing fixtures. There are still additions that still need to be installed, like sound-absorbing panels.  

Marie Mason said the library values the student’s opinions. She still asks students for feedback on their changes, seeing if they could make any more improvements. She said she wants the library to feel like a welcoming place for students to do daily activities like homework and eating. 

“That’s the only reason why we do anything that we do,” Marie Mason said. “We want to do things that the students would appreciate and enjoy.”

The newly renovated library bridge. The updates include new furniture, purple LED lights, carpet and furniture placement (Photo by Rhiannon Slotnick).
About Rhiannon Slotnick 29 Articles
Rhiannon Slotnick is a Junior from Detroit, Michigan. She is double majoring in English Literature Creative Writing and Sociology. She enjoys putting words on to paper for both work and for personal pleasure. If she's not writing, you can find her reading a book or stargazing around campus. You can contact her at

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